I know exactly what I don’t want to talk about… exactly what I don’t want to write about.
The problem with this reality, this scraping truth, is that at this moment it’s all I can say and it’s all I can think. If I can’t write about this… then it will be a long time before l I can write at all. It’s the rhythm of the thoughts in my head and it’s the speed at which words exit my mouth. This forbidden truth is the tempo of my reality… and I’m not one to write fiction.
I’ve been told more than once by the people I love that the things I’ve said or written when I’m most afraid are the things that matter. I’ve absorbed the lectures and words of my favorite authors and thinkers… that the vulnerable space produces the truest work. But shit it’s hard.
When I was sixteen I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the lineage of which is embedded deeply into my blood, into my beautiful ancestry of tender caretakers and hard workers, of deep thinkers and God ponderers. I worked hard, as so many of my name have before me, to live in this world with a mind that operates a little bit differently than most… it took years. I really believed I had outrun it.
After therapy, medication, meditation, and re-evaluation of beliefs.. I even started to doubt its existence. It had been so long since I’d felt my hands shake. It had been so long since I couldn’t shower or sleep without noise to distract me from my own racing mind. My life began to feel like the causal blur I dreamed of and arrogantly imagined others experienced.
It had been years.
Then, after my vacation of floating and thoughtless abandon, I began to sweat. I got chills. My head felt heavy. It came back and it is back.
What I fear the most about sharing my story, I’ve realized, is that I fear it stands in contrast to what I espouse, what it is I feel most passionately. I believe the purpose of human life is to manifest the most selfless, compassionate, fully alive version of one’s self.
Talking about my own mental illness requires me to talk about ME, the all important self, admits that at my worst…my mind plays a constant news reel cycle of ME.
I fear that I have no right to talk about my struggle, as comparatively I’m aware there are so many beautiful humans on this earth whose struggle is mere survival. The scared voice in my head convinces me that if I ask for help, I’m abandoning the real work I feel I was put on this planet to do.
But that’s where the truth, or God maybe shows up. I’m a thinker and a feeler. I always have been. While my words might be slow, my brain moves at a pace at which I can barely control. While this hurts me on my worst days, I believe it is my resurrection story and my truest source of purpose. To look at a world of hurting people and not be hurt, is to not be fully alive. At the very least, I know I’m quite alive.
My mind has brought me every ounce of the immense joy I’ve experienced in my still very young life. It’s what makes me love reading and writing. It’s what makes me love my family, my friends, and this world with such intensity. But it’s time to admit it… my brain hurts sometimes. If you ever need someone to talk to, it could be me. I guess we don’t always choose our purpose.